Handbook on Society and Social Policy
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Handbook on Society and Social Policy

Edited by Nicholas Ellison and Tina Haux

This comprehensive Handbook provides a unique overview of the key issues and challenges facing society and social policy in the twenty-first century, discussing how welfare is conceptualised, organised and delivered in contemporary global society. Chapters engage with specific areas of social policy as well as with the social divisions and institutional infrastructures that underpin them. The Handbook also considers how social policy should respond to the challenges posed by austerity, human migration and the climate crisis.
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Chapter 28: Criminal justice

Tim Newburn


This chapter considers contemporary trends in crime and punishment. It begins by looking at the longer-term historical origins of contemporary penal policy before moving on to consider broad trends in crime, policing and punishment. Although advanced economies have almost all experienced shifts in a broadly punitive direction in recent decades, it remains the case that there continue to be some wide differences across jurisdictions. Consequently, one of the main challenges for contemporary scholarship is to attempt to explain such variation and the chapter briefly reviews some of the more plausible analytical models that are currently utilized. The bulk of the work in this field, however, has focused on the Western liberal democracies and the chapter concludes by noting the importance of analysing the very particular dynamics of penality visible in the Global South.

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